Just got a copy of this in from Jade Tree: the band, Leather from Philly who have barely have a single cassette release behind them. (I swear it's almost getting to the point where I'm really going to have to pick up one of those dual tape decks at the salvation army just to keep up. I thought singles were supposed to be the leading edge of new, self released music, but cassettes are really making something of a comeback for bands these days. I did read that no manufacturer is even making blank cassettes anymore...and it is great that all these cassette only releases are recording over terrible old Tiffany tapes.)
If there's one thing I like about this hardcore, it's the brevity of it's message....that's not a dig at all, what I mean is take the title track "No Motivation" which has a lengthy feedback introduction and fadeout, it still only clocks in at 1:37 and feels hugely epic, probably because of the packed together riffs and frantic energy that doesn't just push the limits for limits sake. This is actually pretty tame tempo if we're comparing this to traditional hardcore...it's weird actually, I don't know how they're managing the feel of this concise, fully developed track in a little over a minute. It's somewhere in the middle of that punk hardcore and post hardcore, At the Drive in and Fucked Up, The Obits and The Minutemen.
The second track "Zek" starts to pick up crazy speed, getting into that weird hyper territory that I can't imagine putting together, it's getting amazingly complex and rapid fire...there is a great layered chorus that takes this out of the frantic yelling into unexpected areas. A Helmet style huge refrain, and it's all of these changes and the combination of melodies that make it seem like the timing doesn't matter.
These two make "Relapse" on the B-Side feel like a complete operatic score. The bassline starts out reminding me of Dive from Incesticide with even the clean, distorted, big guitar sound from that album. It's also feeling like that raw angst arrangements of Nation of Ulysses, they're really combining a lot of influences here, and it nearly starts to feel like their own mini-genre, dabbling in a bunch of directions at once, without feeling gimmicky or way overboard, or some conceptual project I'm not going to understand. It's subtle...a natural outcome of listening to these unconnected things for years and it turns into Leather.
At their live show I'll make sure I'm standing way in the back against the wall, so I don't get caught in the swinging arm circle riot in front of the stage.
Get it from Jade Tree.
With only a hard to find cassette demo, one sold out 7”, a smattering of blog posts and some messageboard banter in their wake, Philadelphia’s Leather have just begun to emerge from an existence unknown to all but those “in the know.” Sterile is surely not the first adjective that crosses one’s mind when confronted with the noisy hardcore on this 4 song EP, aptly described by compatriot and Clockcleaner frontman John Sharkey as the likely result “...if Tad Doyle had owned Age Of Quarrel and actually listened to it.” It’s safe to say that picking up this vinyl will mean reliving these ten minutes hundreds of times over while waiting for the next recorded dose or a chance to witness a live show (likely to be in a dilapidated warehouse or a basement as grimy as their sound).
By the way, over at Everybody Taste, Matt posted a viewable version of my article I did for their magazine/label...check it out, pick up a copy if you're so inclined.